The Role of strangers in Victorian novels: A psychoanalytical study of their repressions, functions and aspirations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Communications and Arts


Education and Arts

First Advisor

Associate Professor Jill Durey

Second Advisor

Associate Professor Susan Ash


The aim of this study is to examine the stranger characters in three Victorian Novels, Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge and Charles Dickens's Great Expectations. The exploration of the characters is based on the analysis of their psyche to understand how they are utilized by the Victorian writers. The study highlights how the fictional strangers can assist in the course of the action of the novel and function as a stimulus by which the actions and thoughts develop plausibly and feasibly. Utilizing the views of Freud, Erikson and others the study will allow for an understanding of the Victorian cultural unconscious, which reflects the contemporary supremacy of men over women. The study will investigate the strangers’ consciousness and portray their psychological conflicts as a representative of the Victorian age and as a forecast of the contemporary individual’s identity crisis. The study concludes that the involvement of strangers gives coherence to the plot and helps readers to understand and learn from the story.

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